Any Recomended Aquarium Substrate

wishkahryan

Member
Thinking about getting a planted substrate and was windering if anyone recomeds a certain kind.
 

Crispii

Member

fissh

Member
I've done well with fluval or play sand. this is a picture with play sand.

 
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wishkahryan

Member
fissh said:
I've done well with fluval or play sand. this is a picture with play sand.

Wow that is amazing my plants just don't seem to frow a whole lot and just got a second tank and was going to try a aquasoil.do you use co2?
 

fissh

Member
that tank has co2, the next few pictures don't.

 

gray_matter16

Member
wishkahryan said:
Thinking about getting a planted substrate and was windering if anyone recomeds a certain kind.
I don't know that I'll ever use anything but this stuff again.

Affordable and my plants do just as well if not better than the expensive stuff. Plus, the grain is not too big or heavy- some of the easiest substrate I've worked with in terms of planting the plants with tools.
 

Chanyi

Member
If you want a “planted tanksubstrate, its ADA style aquasoils (tropica, mr. aqua, fluval, ADA etc.) only.

The rest are gimmicks. Eco-Comp / Flourite are = to plain gravel (minus the bacteria eco-comp comes with).

But, make sure you understand the buffering / ammonia / nutrient aspects of an aqua soil style substrate before buying.

If you don’t want that, just go with chap blasting sand, pool filter sand, silica sand etc. It’s super easy to plant into, easy to clean and looks very good + easy on the wallet.
 

Dave125g

Member
Organic potting soil capped with sand.
 

gray_matter16

Member
Chanyi said:
If you want a “planted tank” substrate, its ADA style aquasoils (tropica, mr. aqua, fluval, ADA etc.) only.

The rest are gimmicks. Eco-Comp / Flourite are = to plain gravel (minus the bacteria eco-comp comes with).
HI Chanyi,

can you explain what you mean by this (for my learning too)? I have had many planted tanks using Eco-Comp and my plants have always thrived using it. It also lists all the nutrients right on the back of the bag (unless you're saying they're straight up lying about that stuff?).
 

Chanyi

Member
gray_matter16 said:
HI Chanyi,

can you explain what you mean by this (for my learning too)? I have had many planted tanks using Eco-Comp and my plants have always thrived using it. It also lists all the nutrients right on the back of the bag (unless you're saying they're straight up lying about that stuff?).
They are straight up lying, here take a look - Direct from Caribsea's website:

Eco‑Complete’s™ secret lies in rich basaltic volcanic soil which contains iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur plus over 25 other elements to nourish your aquatic plants. Floraspore™ symbionts activate the root-substrate interface to facilitate the uptake of minerals which make for a healthier root and healthier plant. Iron rich Eco‑Complete™ eliminates the need for laterite. No artificial dyes, paints, or chemical coatings. Eco-Complete™ has highly porous spherical grains for optimum diffusion performance and contains live Heterotrophic bacteria to rapidly convert fish waste into natural food for your aquatic plants. It establishes a natural biological balance which makes cycling a new aquarium faster and safer.


1) No where does it state nutrients are available to the plants - It simply says it's secret lies in soil that contains these elements. Is it made up of these elements? Yes... are they plant available? No....
2) There are 16 essential plant nutrients, not 25, that is a straight up lie.
3) It doesn't break down meaning how can plants uptake a huge granule of substrate? It need's to break down releasing itself to the plant.
4) It has very low CEC meaning it doesn't store nutrients very well. It is completely inert.
5) It relies on the bacteria it comes with to break down organic material (fish waste, plant tissue, etc) into nutrients for the plant. Which is true... but that happens regardelss of substrate used.

For the money, it's better spent elsewhere. If you like the look and structure, sure go ahead and use it, but for plant health it is not ahead of any other inert substrate.
 

fissh

Member
My first post is a 55 gallon with aquarium gravel, the kind you can buy at the rock store. It has co2 and I use Flourish liquid plant food and plant tabs, (and yes I messed up on my first post. My second post)starts with a 100 gallon with play sand, I use nothing but Flourish. The next pic is a 75 gallon with Hagen substrate and Flourish. The last is a 100 gallon with play sand and Flourish. If I was going to build a build another plant tank, I wouldn't waist my money on all the fancy soils, I've had many tanks and use most of the soils because I bred shrimp and they are supposed to make the shrimp so much happier (NOT). I would use play sand and put my money into lighting, ferts and if you want more plants than you can handle, a Good co2 system.
 
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wishkahryan

Member
I think I have decided to go with the eco complete to start and might try actual aqua soil on the next tank
 

Chanyi

Member
wishkahryan said:
I think I have decided to go with the eco complete to start and might try actual aqua soil on the next tank
What’s your reasoning behind that choice?

Eco-complete is essentially just crushed lava rock.
 
  • Thread Starter

wishkahryan

Member

86 ssinit

Member
I have eco complete in my 90gal. I’m not happy with it. It’s been 2 years and after the first year I started growing plants in pots with standard gravel and sand. As said it’s inert. It’s sharp and not the greatest for Cory’s.
The tank below is 3 months old and uses standard gravel. Plants have been growing great.
Neither tank uses injected co2 both tanks use apI co2 booster. Both tank use flourish comprehensive,iron and potassium. I prefer the gravel. Save money and use it towards your lighting.
 
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wishkahryan

Member
If I went with something like fluval stratum and put it into a already cycled tank would the bacteria eat all of the ammonia up or would it be too much and kill them off and have to re cycle the tank. And what about it changeing the water parameters.
 
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wishkahryan

Member
Has anyone used amazonia or fluval substrate
 
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wishkahryan

Member
So after doing more resurch and reading threads about aquarium substrate I have decided to get sand instead and use root tabs and ferts. Most of the people on here use play sand,blasting sand or pool sand.
 

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